One of the reasons tourists visit Indonesia is the spectacular nature. Many visitors complain about waste in Indonesian environment. Organising waste management in Indonesia is a huge challenge. Indonesia has more than 17.000 islands and approximately 54.600 Km coastline. You can imagine how difficult it is to set up the logistics for a waste system. Other factors contributing to the waste problems are lack of drinkable tap water. Drinking water is distributed in plastic bottles. Another factor is the widespread use of single-use packaging. This packaging was developed to enable Indonesians to purchase products at low price. Even though Indonesian economy is growing, a large part of the population still has low income. In September 2013, the average wage for an Indonesian farmer was USD $3.58 per day. This increased to an average of USD $3.74 per day in March 2014. (source)
Indonesian government and other stakeholders are collaborating on solving the waste problems. The National Action Plan on Marine Plastics Waste Management has been activated in 2017 and is expected to improve the situation within the coming years.
What can you do ?
- In case you plan to visit Komodo National Park please check out this brochure and read about the regulations regarding bringing any disposable packaging into the park
- You can bring your own refillable bottle – in many locations you can find filling stations. In Indonesia these locations are listed on this website On Flores people are starting to list their refill points too.
- You can refuse plastic bags in shops and bring your own reusable shopping bag
- Refuse a plastic straw, bring your own reusable straw
- Bring your own reusable cutlery
- Bring your own shopping bag
- You can volunteer to join beach clean-ups – you can find clean up events on Trash Hero Facebook pages.
- On Flores in Labuan Bajo you can join Trash Hero Komodo
- On Flores in Maumere you can visit the Waste Bank located at Pantai Paris. This is also a nice home stay right on the beach, run by Susilowati Koopman and her husband Herman. In this video you can see Susi at work in the Waste Bank. The beginning of the video shows our promotion for Flores Mountainbike Trail, cycling with Maumere Army and Navy to Pantai Paris in 2013
- When you visit Komodo National Park on a live-a-board just bring karung (waste bags) and go and clean up with the crew. Best to separate the waste, one group collecting plastic bottles and another group picking up other trash. The bottles can be handed over to Om Kennedy Diaz in Labuan Bajo. Contact 0821 4499 9975 or 0813 3843 3632
- A postcard with a message
- Follow news and discussions at Indonesian Waste Platform forum and contribute your expertise if you like to get involved (website)